I was reminded recently by a friend of mine, Alexandra, that we have to ‘do our best and let go of the rest’. She also wrote that ‘When you know in your heart you did the best you had in you today, whatever that looks like… let go of the rest. Let go of your expectations, and the expectations of those around you!’
Her words of wisdom came at the perfect time. It was just after I had won my second silver medal at the recent World Para Road Championships. What should have been very proud moments left me questioning my expectations and those of others who have relied on me to bring home the goods over the last 6 years.
I had done everything, left no stone unturned, heading into my races. I knew what I was up against and what to do. In the Time Trial with a rider who had crashed, I was forced to slow down by road marshals and then was in the wrong gear for the climb just past it and my brain just didn’t respond to change that fact. In the end I was beaten, emphatically, by the better rider on the day, In the Road Race I followed my plan perfectly, I was able to get away from my competitors on the second lap climbing up the hill but it wasn’t enough as Jill Walsh incredibly bridged the gap and got back on my wheels. To her credit that was amazing! It came down to the sprint which was on cobblestones and she was able to get past me just before the corner and I just couldn’t sprint past her at the finish.
I’m proud of how I raced but my expectations exceeded how I placed, so that is why Alexandra’s words came at the perfect time. I had to ‘let go of the rest’ because I had done my best.
I am now looking forward to getting to Baie Comeau, Canada where I will get the chance to race again. This time round I don’t go into it with any expectations except those of racing and doing my best! It is true that sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks!!